Thursday, December 16

Zwarte Piet

Remember how I told you about Sinterklaas and his Zwarte Piet, here they are on a cookie.
Sint and Piet cookies

Doesn't really look like chimney soot on the Piet to me ...

And here I am at school with Sint and some Pieten:
Me, Sint and some Pieten

The celebration at school was interesting. The Piet go around throwing small gingersnap like cookies, most of which end up on the floor and the children follow Sint around. It's definitely festive feeling, but all the cookies everywhere being ground into the carpet bothered my need for cleanliness and order.

Afternoon classes were canceled so that students could give each other secret santa gifts. The fun part in this was the wrapping was as important as the gift and also each came with a poem about the recipient which were at times brutally honest. I really liked that tradition though, makes it really personal.

Gift Wrapping

Gift Wrapping

Monday, December 6


Back in early December I went off to Luxembourg with Ian. He worked there for 3 years and this was our trade off for me taking him to Moscow. He and 2 of his good friends from there showed me an all around great weekend. And though they call it Suxembourg, I loved it.

Everywhere you look, it looks like you've entered into a fairy tale. There are castles on hill tops:


By castles, I of course mean banks. (Really, every time I asked, "Wow, what's that?" The answer was always, "A bank." and never "That's where Rapunzel/Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty live." Tragic, I tell you.) For this is a town/country built on managing other people's money.

It's a town where you can walk everywhere, even if it was perilous due to the ice:
(that's Carmen, my hostess with the mostest)

There was also random, funky art. Like the blue lady:

There were also Christmas markets with hot wine and cookies:


And that weekend was the international festival, where we each bought a bottle of Canadian Maple Whiskey:
At the Canada booth

It was an awesome weekend. And I don't care what they say, I love Suxembourg.

Thursday, December 2


Did you know that you can go surfing in Munich? The city has created a "wave" that runs all the time in a glacial fed river that runs through the English Gardens. Did I mention it was snowing when I arrived? There were 5 people surfing when we walked by:

Surfing in Munich
Careful, they might be insane.

Ah, here's one where you can see the snow and surfing better:
Surfing in Munich

The main reason we went was to go to the Christmas markets. I think we went to three of them before I caved in and went home to lay in bed and moan.

Christmas Markets

There's a beautiful cathedral right in the center of the old town:


I don't actually have any more pictures to share. I'll try to get more when I head to Luxembourg (tomorrow).

Thank you, antibiotics

Well, I no longer feel like I have the plague.

Of course, seems like ~everyone~ at school is sick, so hopefully I'll get healthy and stay that way.

It snowed like crazy today. Really unusual this early apparently. It's beautiful and secretly, I've got my fingers crossed that we'll have a snow day tomorrow.

A woman just walked by wearing a dead muppet. Seriously, I'm not sure what other creature her coat could have been made of.

I'll be back with less rambles and Munich photos shortly.